My Ashford | Running for Office

By bcummings

people holding hands

Nothing makes Ashford faculty and staff happier than seeing students going after their goals, and it’s always a delight to see students, current or former, making the news for following their passion. For a few enterprising Ashford students, passion and goals have inspired them to run for public office this election season. Learn how these students’ journeys have led them to headline both articles and local political campaigns.

Who’s Running for Office and What are Their Goals?

Rob Vanderwood earned his BA in Health Care Administration from Ashford University in 2014. He is a Licensed Registered Respiratory Therapist and works as an instrument specialist for a molecular diagnostic company. He is running for West Haven City Council in West Haven, Utah. Rob states his primary motivation for running for a City Council position. “I love living in West Haven and enjoyed raising my family here. My motivation is based on improvements recommended by community members. First, our city plan needs some clarification. I would like to work on issues related to zoning boundaries. Second, I am business oriented, and can use these talents to add more businesses to our commercial zoning and not just more taxes from additional people. Third, our protection and safety is of prime concern. I have a detailed plan to assist in reducing crime and improving accident response times.”

Latasha Wilks earned her BA in Applied Behavioral Science from Ashford University in 2016 and is currently pursuing her MA in Psychology. Born and raised in Salisbury, North Carolina, Latasha describes her motivation in running for City Council. “I’ve been trying to figure out ways to get us out of the hole we’re in as a community. I remember how it was when I was little, and it’s nothing like that now.”

Keith Wiggins pursued his BA in Business Administration at Ashford University beginning in 2010. Running for Grand Rapids City Council in Iowa, Keith explains that his desire to run for office stems from his passion for business. “I am passionate about economic growth in Cedar Rapids, and I will work harder than anyone to ensure that growth happens and local businesses find the support and interaction they need.”

Duncan Kirkwood pursued his Master of Public Administration at Ashford University in 2014. Running for a County Legislature seat in Buffalo, New York, Duncan wants to see the city at its best. "I grew up on Buffalo’s East Side, but my service in the military and world travels have helped me to understand people from all parts of the district and all walks of life. Our campaign is about putting people over politics because we need to get back to having a government that works for people."

Pamela Haley, Spokane Valley City Councilwoman, earned her BA in Organizational Management in 2008 and her MBA in 2009 from Ashford University. Appointed to her seat in 2016, Pamela is running to retain her seat with economic aims in Spokane Valley, Washington. Describing her plans for the city, she says she wants to continue bringing “good wage-paying jobs to Spokane Valley,” especially to the newly expanded industrial park. Other plans include recruiting and hiring police officers and “paying them the wages they deserve.”

We wish these former students the best of luck in their political pursuits and beyond. Tell us where your journey is taking you with #MyAshfordU.



Written by Kelsey Bober Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education


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